Kyle Smith has started his 2021 campaign in impressive fashion, with the highlight an admirable performance which saw him claim victory at CHALLENGEWANAKA.
Ranked at #6 for Team Internationals ahead of the rescheduled Collins Cup, Smith held off fellow countryman Braden Currie at Glendhu Bay in his native New Zealand, finishing just 13 seconds clear of his rival after a thrilling race.
Smith produced an admirable pace over the swim and bike legs, opening up what proved to be a decisive four-minute lead ahead of the run.
His impressive bike leg saw him clock a stellar 2:05:08 split, with his overall time almost 10 minutes quicker than his effort in 2020.
This year has already brought another laudable result for Kyle, finishing third at IRONMAN New Zealand as his stature within the professional triathlon world continues to grow.
He threatened to add another victory to his name on his full IRONMAN debut as he exited the waters of Lake Taupo in 46:33, nearly a minute clear of the chasing pack.
He was eventually overhauled by race winner Currie and second-placed Mike Phillips, but he was strong once again on the bike, registering 4:23:49 for the leg.
Smith’s overall time was 8:08:54 in New Zealand, and given he was only beaten by two former winners of the event, he was understandably proud of his debut at full distance.
“IRONMAN debut and what a day it was,” he wrote on social media after the race. “Taupo is really something special. It was an honour to debut at home.”
Currie may have earned the status of New Zealand’s strongest full-distance athlete, but Smith will fancy his chances of being on the shortlist for a Captain’s pick at the Collins Cup in August.
With the race in Šamorín being shorter, Smith’s win at CHALLENGEWANAKA may have been enough to prove his worth to the Team Internationals captains.
Here are Kyle’s Weapons of Choice:
Goggles: Huub Varga
Wetsuit: Huub Agilis
Trisuit: Huub Anemoi
Sports Watch: Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music
Bike frame: Scott Plasma 5
Frame size: 57
Aerobars: Wattshop Anemoi
Front wheel: Corima Tri Spoke
Rear Wheel: HED Stinger Disc
Tyres: Vittoria Corsa
Tyre and Tube type: Tubular
Component Groupset: Shimano Di2
Power meter: SRM
Head Unit: Garmin 510
Crank Length: 170mm
Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace
Gearing: 53/39 11-25
Helmet: Rudy Project Wing
Cycling Shoes: Sidi T-5
Saddle: ISM Adamo
Shoes: Asics Metaracer
Eyewear: Rudy Project Defender
Heart Rate Monitor: Garmin